A steaming bowl of beef stew with root vegetables and a rich flavor base made from well browned meat and aromatic red wine is classic comfort food.
One of those go to recipes on a lazy weekend when you have a little energy for prep in the morning and then let things simmer away while you do your thing all afternoon.
After a wintery day outside, a spoonful of this will warm you up.
I made this beef stew in the oven using my 3 L le Creuset dutch oven – it’s cast iron coated with enamel. The beauty of this type of heavy cast iron pot with a tight fitting lid is that it distributes and holds heat very well. You can use it on the stove top to sear meat, then transfer it to the oven with a tight lid to stew for hours. Ideally, a 5 or 6 L pot would have been better for this recipe – but hey, you gotta make do with what you got. I just had to stir carefully and ensure my stew wasn’t boiling over – which would have meant my heat was too high anyway. It all worked out, just fine.
Without further ado, here’s my recipe for beef stew in the oven.
- 2 lbs beef cut into 1 1/2" pieces (chuck or round roasts)
- 1-2 Tbsp cajun seasoning
- 2-3 Tbsp flour
- 2-4 Tbsp canola oil (as needed)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 4-6 cups beef broth, divided
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 3 potatoes, sliced
- 2 parsnips, sliced (optional)
- salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Season beef cubes on all sides with cajun seasoning.
- Dredge beef in flour, shaking off excess.
- Heat a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add 2 Tbsp canola oil and heat for 1 minute.
- Brown beef on all sides in hot pan. For best results, do this in two or three batches. Remove finished beef before adding more beef and oil as needed.
- Remove all beef from pan. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add onions and more oil if needed to soften onions, about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste and stir to coat onions.
- Add red wine to deglaze pan and thin out tomato paste. Stir to loosen all the caramelized brown bits from the pan.
- Add 4 cups broth, Worcestershire, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.
- Add beef and any juices that have collected to pan. Mix well.
- Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Add celery, potatoes, carrots and parsnips (if using) to stew. Add 1 to 2 cups additional broth as needed. (Depending on what's in the fridge, I've also added leftover tomato sauce or salsa to add more liquid and flavor.)
- Cover, return to oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove from oven, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before serving, garnish with rosemary or parsley.
- By adding vegetables half way through, they'll be tender without being mushy or overcooked.
What to serve with Beef Stew?
Soups and stews are perfect excuses to make delicious homemade biscuits, breads or buns. I made these soft 50/50 whole wheat buns to go with our pot of stew.
Can you make this beef stew in a slow cooker?
Sure you can. I highly recommend that you brown your meat and deglaze the pan with the red wine before you add it to the crock pot. It’s an optional step but it will go a long way to adding to that deep rich color and flavor. Also, when making it in a slow cooker, add all the veggies to the bottom of the crock pot, underneath the meat. In the slow cooker, veggies actually take longer to cook than the meat, so they do better on the bottom where they get the most heat. You likely want to cook it 4-6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
Ready to make your own pot of beef stew? If you do, please take a photo and share it with me by tagging @getgettys on Instagram. Or leave a comment and let me know how it went.
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.